Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Orleans to Havana, $178 roundtrip on E-Spiri

This is so weird.

I love New Orleans. But I live in Miami. With lots of Cubans.

And now No-La Mayor Ray Nagin wants to bring us all together. For one big party. Which should not be surprising. For you kids who are not as old as him, in the late 1950s, Cuba was the top source of trade for the Port of New Orleans. And then that little thing happened on New Year's.

Anyhoo, Ray is a no-nonsense kind of guy. Recently, Ray took a six-day trip to Cuba's capital to study the island's disaster-response system. Screw politics. Ray is all about the tourism. After all, since Katrina, the number of visitors to his city have fallen from 10 million a year to 8 million, and revenues are down around $300 million, to $4.5 billion. As a result, Nagin has lobbied for U.S. and Cuban authorities to allow special charter flights between New Orleans and Cuba. Kind of like those flights from LaGuardia to Ft. Lauderdale in the early 1980s, I guess.

The Mayor said New Orleans also could be an ideal transit point for European tourists flying to or from Havana. "You spend some time in Havana and then you jump on the plane and an hour and half, two hours later, you're in New Orleans," Nagin said. "You can spend a couple of days on Bourbon Street drinking 'hurricanes.'


Yes, its true that like rice and beans, Hurricanes bind us. But I don't see the Amsterdam/Havana/New Orleans trip taking the travel industry by storm. Except for the Dead Heads still wandering aimlessly after Jerry's death, but they don't spend much money and they are REALLY smelly. And annoying.

Mayor Ray delved a bit into politics and governmental function, offering this insightful comment about the Cuban government: "I think they do a much better job than we do on knowing their citizens at a very, very detailed level, block by block," Nagin said.

That was a joke, right?

N.B.: I love Miami, home to the Jewish and (winter time) Italian mobs, at their heyday. Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, Al Capone. Hanging here, here, and here. Can you imagine?

1 comment:

  1. Love that quote by the Mayor about how good the Cuban Government is at keeping tabs on its citizens.